Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed that he has left The Apprentice and is not coming back next season. But President Donald Trump has a different story.
The actor said he is done hosting the reality show. The former California governor joined the previous season of The Apprentice after Trump declared he would run for president.
Trump claimed in a tweet that Schwarzenegger did not leave voluntarily but was fired. Schwarzenegger hit back and suggested on Twitter that the president should add a joke writer and fact-checker to his staff. USA Today cited Schwarzenegger’s statement where he said:
“I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”
The baggage that Schwarzenegger was referring to is Trump. The two engaged in a social media spat since The Celebrity Apprentice season 8 premiered earlier this year.
The actor stressed in an interview with Empire that he would decline if he will be asked to host the show again. Schwarzenegger also confirmed a report that viewers and sponsors of the show left because of Trump.
“When people found out that Trump was still involved as executive producer and was still receiving money from the show, then half the people [started] boycotting it.”
The Apprentice Season 8 Ratings
When the show premiered earlier this year, it garnered an average of 4.9 million viewers. This is below the viewership ratings of the last season which Trump hosted. The season 7 debut episode garnered 6.5 million viewers.
Trump then mocked the low ratings of the recent season of The Apprentice. But it did not end there.
At the National Prayer Breakfast in February, the president also asked his audience to pray for Schwarzenegger and the show’s ratings. Schwarzenegger quickly responded with a video challenging the president to switch jobs with him instead.
The social media war between the two did not help the ratings of the show. The season 8 finale last month recorded its lowest ratings in the show’s history with just 3.45 million viewers. It also recorded an average nightly viewership of below 4 million, which is way less of the previous season’s average of more than 7.6 million.
Schwarzenegger hosted the show along with his nephew, Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger and supermodel Tyra Banks. Season 8 wrapped up on February 13 with Matt Iseman as winner.
Image Source: Instagram/Apprentice NBC